Curtailing the Cost of Commuting
One thing is clear – with gas prices climbing near $5.00 per gallon – more and more people are finally changing their transportation habits.
The U.S. has a large number of workers who commute to their jobs, and many are now forced to consider alternatives to their daily routine. The current crisis appears to have pushed the nation to explore options not previously considered.
The issue of higher gas prices might force President Barrack Obama to sell the oil from the emergency reserves, which was already done before. The Associated Press was able to source a statement from Jay Carney, a spokesman at the White House. Carney said that “We never take options off the table,” referring to the authorization of the President to sell emergency oil reserves, perhaps an effort to soften the blow of rising fuel costs.
A new BuyingAdvice.com study, which yielded over 1900 responses, reveals that 38% of those polled make a daily commute of 20 miles or more. For these individuals in particular, filling up the tank has become burdensome.
Nearly half (45%) of buyers report that they now pay between $50-$100 a week to fill up their car. 40% said they spend $50 or less a week, while almost 14% said that they currently fork over more than $100 weekly just to fill up their vehicle. So how do motorists intend to solve this problem?
Like the rest of the country, BuyingAdvice survey respondents choose various methods to ease the financial cost of commuting. Though less than a quarter (19%) of those surveyed opted for using public transportation or mass transit, recent reports do indicate a nation-wide increase in the use of these options.
In Chicago, the number of people using the Metra in 2011 has risen about 1.6% from 2010. In the Bay Area of California, BART ridership increased 3.1%, which is significantly higher compared to 2009 and 2010.
The majority (35%) of respondents said they would consider carpooling, while 19% of participants said they would actually move closer to their workplace to offset the financial burden of commuting. On the other hand, telecommuting, or working from home, is a trend quickly increasing in popularity these days. Almost a quarter (24%) of those polled said that they would prefer finding a job close to home in order to reduce fuel expenses. Employers and employees alike are affected by commuting expenses, and both can clearly perceive the benefits of working from home.
Hybrid and diesel cars seem to be the solution that will help counteract rising fuel costs. Hybrid cars in particular saw a 2.5% rise in sales in 2010. In 2011, 2.11% of total vehicle sales can be attributed to hybrid vehicles, accounting for 268,752 vehicles sold. Allen Schaeffer, who is the Executive Director of Diesel Technology Forum, reported a 20.4% increase in the sales of clean diesel vehicles in the USA. Schaeffer further adds that “The increase in sales of clean diesels is a reflection of the US consumer’s shift toward fuel-efficient and clean vehicles.”
Diesel cars are 20% to 40% more fuel efficient compared to conventional gasoline-powered vehicles. Experts project significant growth in the sales of diesel cars in the next several years.